relates to the directed dipole of a molecule which one could argue would determine the size and shape of the puncture a molecule made in the dipolar membrane of a neuron. Possibly one could even eliminate the necessity of full penetration of the molecule into the interior of the neuron, and hypothesize that the presence of the molecule on the surface and the consequent disordering of the membrane would be sufficient. The second axis correlates to the first u electron excitation energy, which one would expect to correlate to Lewis acidity. Whichever one is chosen, it could possibly be sensed by the effect of the molecule on some biochemical pathway which involved electron transfer. ACKNOWLEDGMENT The authors thank Dave Kalman, who helped us decipher the CNDO data, Carl Appellof and Jim Koskinen for writing the 3-dimensional model building program, and M. da Koven for moral support. LITERATURE CITED (1) Aristotle, "De Anima", book II, Chap. 9, 400 B.C. (2) T. C. Lecretius, "On the Nature of the Universe", 47 B.C. (3) H. Zwaardemaker, "Die Psycoiogie des Geruchs", Engiemann, Leipzig, 1895. (4) H. Hemming, "Der Geruchs", Leipzig, 1912. (5) E. C. Crocker and L. F. Henderson, Am. Perfum., 227, 325, 356 (1927).

(6) J. E. Amoore, "Molecular Basis of Odor", C. C Thomas Co., Springfield, Ill., 1970. (7) G. M. Dyson, Chem. Ind. (London), 1938, 647 (1938). (8) R. H. Wright, "The Science of Smell", Basic Books New York, N.Y., 1964. (9) R. H. Wright and K. M. Michaels, Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci., 116, 535 (1964). (IO) S.S.Schiffman, Science, 185, 112 (1974). (11) L. Guttman, Psychometrica, 33,469 (1968). (12) J. T. Davies, "Olfactory Theories" in "Handbook of Sensory Phenomina IV. Chemical Senses 1. Olfaction", L. M. Beidler, Ed., Springer-Verlag,New York, N.Y., 1971. (13) K. R. Brower and R. Schafer, J. Chem. Educ., 52, 538 (1975). (14)D.G. Moulton, "Detection and Recognition of Odor Molecules" in "Gustation and Olfaction", G. Ohloff and A. F. Thomas Ed., Academic Press, New York, N.Y., 1971. (15) J. A. Pople and D. L. Beverige, "Approximate Molecular Orbital Theory", McGraw, Hili, New York, N.Y., 1970. (16) "Atlas of Spectral Data and Physical Constants for Organic Compounds, J. G. Grasselli, Ed., C. R. C. Press, Cleveland, Ohio, 1974. (17) B. R. Kowalski, "Pattern Recognition in Chemical Research", in "Computers in Chemical and Biochemical Research", Vol. 2, C. E. Klopfenstein and C. L. Wilkins, Ed., Academic Press, New York, N.Y., 1974. (18) B. R. Kowaiski and C. F. Bender, Pattern Recognition, 8, 1 (1976). (19) B. R. Kowalski and C. F. Bender, J. Am. Chem. Soc.,95, 686 (1973). (20) J. L. Fasching, D. L. Duewer, and B. R. Kowalski, Anal. Chem., 48, 2002 (1976).

RECEIVEDfor review October 26,1976. Accepted December 20, 1976. This paper was presented at the 172nd National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, San Francisco, Calif., August 1976. This work was supported by the National Science Foundation under grant number MPS 74-00818 A01.

Mercury-Gold Minigrid Optically Transparent Thin-Layer Electrode Michael L. Meyer,' Thomas P. DeAngelis,* and William R. Heineman* Department of Chemistry, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio 4522 1

An optlcaliy transparent thin-layer electrode (OTTLE) with characterlstics of mercury has been prepared by electrodepositing a thin film of mercury on a 500-lpi gold minigrid. The negative potential range of this Hg-Au OTTLE was 500 mV greater than that obtained on a Au OTTLE and 200 mV greater than that reported for a Hg-NI OllLE. The large hydrogen overvoltage is attributed to the good overvoltage characteristics of the gold substrate, which is quite soluble in mercury, and to the formation of a continuous mercury film rather than droplets. The optical transparency of the gold minigrid (60%) was not measurably diminished by deposition of the mercury film. The extended negative potential range Is useful for observing electrode processes with large negative reduction potentialsas illustrated by vitamin BI2 and glyoxyllc acld.

Optically transparent electrodes (OTEs) enable spectral monitoring of electrode processes during an electrochemical experiment by virtue of an optical beam passing through the electrode itself (1-3, and references therein). Spectroelectrochemistry with OTEs has been used to study the kinetics of homogeneous chemical reactions coupled to electrode processes; obtain UV, visible, and infrared spectra of intermediates and products of electrode reactions; measure E '' and n values of biological redox components; and observe surface Present address, Institute of Forensic Medicine, Toxicology, ana Criminalistics, 3159 Eden Ave., Cincinnati, Ohio 45219. Present address, Corning Glass Works, Corning, N.Y. 14830.



phenomena. In these studies two types of OTEs are commonly employed. The first type of OTE consists of a thin film of a metal (platinum, gold) or a semiconductor (SnO2,InO2, carbon) which is coated on a transparent substrate such as glass, quartz, or germanium, depending on the spectral region of interest. The transparency of these electrodes depends on the thinness and the optical properties of the conducting film. A second category of OTE is the minigrid electrode which consists of a metal (gold, nickel, silver, copper) grid with from 100 to 2000 wires per inch ( 4 ) . In this case the transparency is due to the physical holes in the minigrid structure. Mercury has been used extensively as an electrode material, in part because of its large hydrogen overvoltagewhich offers a substantially greater negative potential range compared to many other electrode materials such as platinum. Mercury has also proven to be very suitable for the reduction of metal ions to metals which form amalgams. These important properties of mercury have stimulated the development of mercury OTEs. Of particular importance is the extended negative potential range which would make accessible the study of electrode processes obscured by hydrogen evolution on the existing OTEs. "Mercury" OTEs have been reported for both of the two categories of OTEs described above by electrodepositing a thin mercury coating on a platinum-film OTE (5) and on a nickel minigrid OTE (6). While both of these electrodes exhibited substantial mercury character including a hydrogen overvoltage increase of 300-600 mV, the influence of dissolved substrate (Pt, Ni), and the formation of mercury droplets rather than a continuous film prevented the attainment of an


Table I. Variation of Negative Potential Limit with Amount of Mercury Deposited on Gold Minigrid Concentration of Hg2+ deposition solution, mM

Amount of mercury deposited, nmol cm-2 a

Negative potential limit, V vs. SCEb

0 2

-0.50 -0.62




2.6 5.2 9.6 satd (-250)


-0.84 -0.88 -0.91 -0.93

0 0.2

42 77


a Amount deposited per unit area of minigrid assuming exhaustive electrolysis of Hg2+. Cell volume is 30 pL. Macroscopic electrode area is 3.8 cm2. Potential at which cathodic current exceeds 25 pA (current density, 7 p A cm-2).

electrode with the negative potential range of pure mercury. This problem of amalgamation of substrate by the electrodeposited mercury is particularly severe in the case of the platinum-film OTE since the overlying mercury coat must be very thin (ca.

Mercury--gold minigrid optically transparent thin-layer electrode.

relates to the directed dipole of a molecule which one could argue would determine the size and shape of the puncture a molecule made in the dipolar m...
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